An annual tradition in this blog is to update the list of Brooklyn Dodger players alive.
In 2014, we lost the following Brooklyn Dodgers: Charlie Osgood, Charlie kress, Don Zimmer, Dick Teed, George Shuba, Pat McGlothin and John Pierre Roy.
We now have 31 surviving Broklyn Dodger players. Mike Sandlock is the oldest one. He will turn 100 on October 17. The youngest one is now Bob Aspromonte who will turn 76 on June 19. I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Aspromonte at the SABR convention in Houston in 2014.
Here is the list of the 31 surviving Brooklyn Dodger players:
|Mike Sandlock||Old Greenwich, CT||10/17/1915||1, 4|
|Ray Hathaway||Grinville, OH||10/13/1916||22|
|Lee Pfund||Oakpark, IL||10/10/1919||14|
|Luis Olmo||Puerto Rico||10/11/1919||21|
|Marv Rackley||Seneca, SC||7/25/1921||35|
|Eddie Basinksi||Buffalo, NY||11/4/1922||3|
|Tim Thompson||Coalport, PA||3/1/1924||21|
|Johnny Rutherford||Ontario, CN.||5/5/1925||15|
|Wayne Terwilliger||Clare, Mi.||6/27/1925||34|
|Chris Haughey||Astoria, NY.||10/3/1925||14|
|Ralph Branca||Mount Vernon, NY||1/6/1926||13,20,28|
|Bob Borkowski||Dayton, OH||1/27/1926||27|
|Randy Jackson||Little Rock, AR||2/10/1926||2|
|Don Newcombe||Madison, NJ||6/14/1926||36|
|Bobby Morgan||Oklahoma city. OK||6/29/1926||2|
|Carl Erskine||Anderson, IN||12/13/1926||17|
|Rocky Bridges||Refugio, TX||8/7/1927||9|
|Tommy Lasorda||Norristown, PA||9/22/1927||2,27,29|
|Tommy Brown||Brooklyn, NY||12/6/1927||9|
|Joe Landrum||Columbia, SC||12/13/1928||19|
|Joe Pignatano||Brooklyn, NY||8/4/1929||58|
|Roger Craig||Durham, NC||2/17/1930||38|
|Ron Negray||Akron, OH||2/26/1930||38|
|Glenn Mickens||Wilman, CA||7/26/1930||46|
|Ed Roebuck||East Millboro, PA.||7/3/1931||37|
|Fred Kipp||Iqua, KS||10/1/1931||26|
|Jim Gentile||San Francisco, CA||6/3/1934||38|
|Don Demeter||Oklahoma City. OK||6/25/1935||2|
|Sandy Koufax||Brooklyn, NY||12/30/1935||32|
|Bob Aspromonte||Brooklyn, NY||6/19/1938||28. 34|
Gentlemen: May you have a healthy 2015!
A tradition in my blog on December 31 is to pay tribute to the Dodgers that passed away in 2014.
John Pierre Roy
How sad that we have lost another Dodger. Bobby (Babo) Castillo was a Dodger pitcher who taught Fernando how to throw the screwball.
I heard the news on Twitter from el senor Jaime Jarrin. El Maestro Jaime said that Babo Castillo was the first of 35 baseball players signed by Mike Brito that reached Major league Baseball.
Here is Bobby with Mike Brito
I was remembering back in 2009 when the Dodgers used to host WIN (Women Initiative Network) Baseball clinics and Bobby Castillo was part of our instructors for that day. He was in the Dodger bullpen and Lorena and I stood in line so that we could throw and he could catch us. Well, he never got to us. We told him and he said “I’ll make it up to you two” Well, he never did. Rest in peace “Babo” Our deepest condolences to your family and friends.
Ref: Jon SooHoo pictures.
It is a sad day today hearing that Bobby Welch passed away.
I did see Bobby strike out Reggie Jackson but it was not until the Summer of 1981 that I became a big Bobby Welch fan.
1981 was the first year I had season tickets. I had my ticket in the Loge level, aisle 3, row N, seat 3. I never collected autographs or took pictures with players. I just went to my seat, watch the game and left when the last out was recorded. Back then I was very shy. I was teaching myself how to follow the game and I thought myself how to keep score by looking at the sample in the Dodger magazine.
That Summer, Davey Lopes was not doing well and he was being booed at the stadium. I felt bad for Davey that he was being booed in his own stadium.
As Camera Day was a few days away, I decided to go and see if I could find a greeting card with some encouraging words to give to Davey Lopes. The day before camera day I went to a local Hallmark store and read many greeting cards trying to find some that had some encouraging words for Davey. Some I found too mushy, not appropriate. I finally found one that I thought was respectful and appropriate.
Camera Day had arrived so I headed to Dodger Stadium with my Kodak camera and a greeting card in my bag. I took a spot close to the dugout on the field behind the roped area. I was taking pictures and waiting for Davey Lopes to come out. But the last players were coming out so I realized he was not going to come out. When I spotted Jerry Reuss, I asked him if he could give Davey a card. Reuss said No, can’t do it…not allowed or something like that. The last guy coming out of the dugout was Bobby Welch. I asked him and he looked at me and said “I sure will” From that day on, I was a big Bobby Welch fan!
The Dodgers won the World Series in 1981. Some time in November of 1981, I received a postcard signed by Davey Lopes thanking me for my support. I still have that postcard.
I followed Bobby’s career, I was sad when he was traded to Oakland and also when I read that the was battling alcoholism. I was happy when he was doing well on the field and off the field. The next time I saw him was in 2008 when Dodgers were celebrating Dodger decades with luncheons with players speakers at Dodger Stadium. I attended the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Bobby was part of the 80’s group (he could have been on the 70’s) The 80’s luncheon was in the Dodger Club level restaurant. It is too bad that when talking about 1988, Bobby Welch was with Oakland.
The next time I saw him was at Camelback Ranch. I believe it was 2009 when the Dodgers had a Women Baseball clinic. I took this picture with Bobby.
The next time I saw him he was at Dodger Stadium. I was already in my seats in the Top Deck when I saw him as part of alumni players on the field prior to the game. I made my way down all the way to the field level and caught up with him as he was coming back to the field level. I talked to him and told him again that he was my favorite player. He signed my baseball.
My friend Kent who I met in 2012 at the SABR convention in Long Beach is a Dodger fan and a Red Sox fan. I started talking to him about Bobby Welch. He told he had his book “Five O’Clock Comes Early” I told him that I had heard of the book but that I never read it. He sent it to me in the mail. I read it but I kept it a little longer hoping to see Bobby so he could sign it and send it back to Kent. I did not have the book with me last time I saw Bobby at Dodger Stadium. Rest in peace Bobby!
As a member of the Baseball Reliquary, I am proud that I voted for Dr. Frank Jobe in 2012. He was elected to the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals that year on July 15, 2012. The day before, Dr. Frank Jobe was at Dodger Stadium with Tommy John throwing out the first pitch
pictures at Dodger Stadium taken by me.
At the Baseball Reliquary Induction Day July 15, 2012
Mudcat Grant was also inducted into the Baseball Reliquary Shrine of the Eternals.
Tommy John introduced Dr. Frank Jobe.
Rest in peace Dr. Frank Jobe. I think The Hall of Fame should have done something for Dr Jobe a long time ago. Dr. Jobe was the greatest man of Sport medicine. Nobody else has contributed as much to the sport as he has. Thank you Dr. Jobe.
Thank you Brian for inviting me to the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasting Luncheon! I had a wonderful time!
The program and the ticket. Among the speakers were PPB President Chuck Street, Entertainment Chair Jeanne DeVivier Brown, Laura Diaz, Jorge Jarrin, Larry King, Michael Young and Vin Scully who presented PPB’s Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award to Jaime Jarrin.
Fernando Valenzuela & Jaime. Pepe Yniguez was hiding.
I have some videos but I have not downloaded yet.
Ralph Branca then
Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca was born on January 6, 1926 in Mount Vernon. He was the fifteenth of seventeen children. He was signed by the Dodgers after a local tryout.
Ralph’s father, John Branca, came to America from Italy. Ralph’s mother, Katherine Berger, was born in Hungary. Ralph married Ann Mulvey in 1951. Her parents owned a share of the Dodgers, and her maternal grandfather had been president of the Brooklyn Club.
The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Branca out of the New York University in 1943, when he was just seventeen years old.
In 1947 the twenty-one-year-old Branca became the second-youngest National Leaguer to win 20 games.
Branca was involved in two of the biggest moments in baseball history. One was the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson in 1947, and the other was as the man who threw the pitch hit for a home run by Bobby Thompson that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.
In January 2001, joshua Praeger, a reporter for the Wall Street journal published the details of a sign-stealing scheme the Giants rigged in the Polo Grounds. The scheme involved a telescope from windows in the center-field clubhouse, a buzzer rigged under dirt in the bullpen, and a reserve catcher positioning his body and equipment to tip-off the batter as to which pitch was coming.
Branca said his friendship with Jackie Robinson continued after baseball. They played golf together when they worked in Manhattan and saw each other a lot while Jackie was with Chock Full of Nuts.
Ralph Branca now
Check out Ralph’s website at http://www.ralphbranca.com/ and his book:
Ref: SABR.org, book: ‘The Team that forever Changed Baseball and America The 1947 Brooklyn dodgers” Note: I am loving this book!